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Ryan Goodman

Ryan Goodman

Is Living in Albuquerque Right for You? 😍 | Moving to Albuquerque NM Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on: 22nd February 2024, 06:06 pm

Albuquerque, also known as ABQ, Burque, and The Duke City, is the most populated city in the state of New Mexico. First home to the Paleo-Indians, Albuquerque is now known for its historic landmarks, wonderful higher education options, and gorgeous weather. The city of Albuquerque is also a popular tourist destination and draws in thousands of visitors every year to events such as the New Mexico State Fair, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and the River of Lights Albuquerque. Living in Albuquerque is popular among people of all age groups and families of all sizes. There is something for everyone in the city! As such, Albuquerque is a good place to live.

Are you wondering whether or not moving to Albuquerque is right for you? Let’s dive into everything you need to know about living in Albuquerque New Mexico, so you can decide whether or not the city is a good fit for you and your family.

Where Is Albuquerque?

Albuquerque NM is in Bernalillo County and is located in the north-central part of the state. The city is bordered to the east by the Sandia-Manzano Mountains, and to the west by the West Mesa and Petroglyph National Monument. Albuquerque is situated within the Rio Grande Valley and is at the center of the Albuquerque Basin. The city has one of the highest elevations of any city in the United States, and the Albuquerque elevation ranges from 4,900 to 10,678 feet.

When living in Albuquerque NM, you will have plenty of options for quick day or weekend trips. It is only 63.2 miles from Albuquerque New Mexico to Santa Fe New Mexico, which is only about a one-hour drive. If you are looking to head across state lines, it is 419 miles (6-hour and 32-minute drive) from Albuquerque NM to Phoenix AZ, and 449 miles (6-hour and 21-minute drive) from Albuquerque NM to Denver CO.

Albuquerque Information

  • Albuquerque county: Bernalillo
  • Albuquerque area: 188.95 square miles
  • Albuquerque zip code: 87101-87199
  • Albuquerque area code: 505
  • Albuquerque elevation: 4,900-10,678 square feet
  • Albuquerque time zone: Mountain Time Zone (MST)
  • Closest airport to Albuquerque: Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)

Albuquerque Population & Demographics


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What is the Albuquerque NM population? The Albuquerque population is 564,559, which is a 3.4% increase over the past decade. The Albuquerque metro population is 915,927, making it the 61st-largest MSA in the nation. The city is also a part of the Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas combined statistical area, which has a population of 1.16 million.

The city has been home to several notable people throughout the years, including actor Neil Patrick Harris, astronaut Sidney Gutierrez, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The Albuquerque population is fairly diverse, with a racial and ethnic composition of 60.6% White (37.0% non-Hispanic), 18.1% two or more races, 4.8% American Indian, 3.2% Black or African American, 3.1% Asian, and 0.1% Native Hawaiian. Additionally, 10.2% of the population is foreign-born, which is higher than the New Mexico rate of 9.3%. The average income in Albuquerque NM is $61,503, which is higher than the New Mexico average of $58,722.

Additional Albuquerque Demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 50.9% female, 49.1% male
  • Median age: 38.4
  • Educational attainment: 90.7% high school degree (or higher), 37.8% bachelor’s degree (or higher)
  • Average household size: 2.3 persons


One of the biggest benefits of living in Albuquerque is the great public transportation system. You can take advantage of local and express bus routes through the Albuquerque Rapid Transit system (ART). You’ll also find several ABQ RIDE bus routes that connect passengers to Amtrak, Greyhound Lines, and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail.

After moving to Albuquerque New Mexico there are also several convenient freeways for you to utilize. The Pan-American Freeway, the Coronado Freeway, and Rio Bravo Boulevard are all popular roads connecting major parts of the city.

The city is also home to New Mexico’s largest airport, Albuquerque International Sunport. This airport offers nonstop service between ABQ and more than 20 destinations, serving over 5 million passengers each year.

Albuquerque Cost Of Living

Is Albuquerque expensive? The cost of living in Albuquerque is far lower than many other major U.S. cities. The Albuquerque Cost of Living Index is 93, meaning that the cost of living in Albuquerque NM is 7% lower than the national average of 100. The cost of groceries, housing, utilities, and healthcare are all below the national average, while the cost of transportation is slightly higher.


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According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four living in Albuquerque would need to make $75,469 per year to live comfortably in the city. This comes out to around $6,289 per month. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, two working adults with two children would need to earn at least $23.61 per hour to support their family.

Typical Albuquerque Living Expenses:

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $18.00
  • Average cost of utilities in Albuquerque per month: $234.95
  • Cappuccino: $4.96
  • Loaf of bread: $2.96
  • Gallon of gas: $3.70
  • Fitness membership (monthly): $101.67
  • Childcare (monthly): $1,500

Source: Numbeo

It is also important to consider taxes when analyzing the average cost of living in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque sales tax rate is 7.63%, while the Albuquerque income tax ranges from 1.7% to 5.9%, depending on income. In 2022, the average Albuquerque property tax rate was 1.18%.

When asking yourself “Should I move to Albuquerque?” you will want to consider the home and rent prices. Luckily, Albuquerque NM real estate is very affordable considering the size of the city.

Albuquerque Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

If you are searching for homes for sale in Albuquerque, then you are in luck. According to Redfin, the average home price in Albuquerque is $320,000. Although the price of Albuquerque New Mexico real estate is up 1.6% from last year, it is still 6% below the national average of $408,537. The real estate market is slowing down in the city, and homes sit on the market for an average of 26.5 days.

Rent in Albuquerque is also well below the national average. The average rent in Albuquerque is $1,340 per month, compared to the national average of $1,702, according to RentCafe. You’ll find the cheapest rent in Albuquerque NM in neighborhoods like Elder Homestead and Fair West, where renters pay an average of $957 per month. The most expensive neighborhoods to pay rent in include West La Cueva, West Vumoor, and Wildflower, where the average rent is $1,932 per month. According to the ATTOM 2022 Rental Affordability Report, it is more affordable to rent Albuquerque real estate than to buy it.

Neighborhoods In Albuquerque | Where To Live In Albuquerque

Are you curious about the best places to live in Albuquerque? Whether you are looking for the safest neighborhoods in Albuquerque or a gorgeous Albuquerque retirement community, you will find exactly what you are looking for. These are just a few of the best Albuquerque neighborhoods.

Downtown Albuquerque | Popular Among Renters and Young Professionals

Downtown is one of the best areas to live in Albuquerque. The downtown area is bustling with life, and you can easily walk from place to place. The neighborhood is known for its dining and nightlife scene, and you’ll always find something to do in the area. Downtown Albuquerque is the central business hub of the city, and is home to several of the city’s largest employers. Because of this, you’ll find several young professionals living in the area. Downtown is also the most popular neighborhood among renters, with several upscale apartment communities such as Country Club Lofts, Cuatro Apartment Homes, and Sterling Downtown.


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Ventana Ranch | Master-Planned Community Close to Top-Rated Schools

Located just west of the Rio Grande sits the gorgeous neighborhood of Ventana Ranch. This family-friendly area is close to several highly-rated schools, such as Ventana Ranch Elementary School and Volcano Vista High School. Ventana Ranch is a master-planned community consisting of 4,700 homes selling for an average of $310,000. Residents of Ventana Ranch have access to the Ventana Ranch Community Center and Pool, which includes amenities such as an in-ground pool, a volleyball court, a tennis court, a basketball court, and a playground.

Del Webb at Mirehaven | 55+ Community With Luxury Amenities

If you are moving to Albuquerque to retire, then check out Del Webb at Mirehaven. This gated 55+ community is located in the northwestern section of the city and features 538 single-family homes starting in the high $400s. When living in this active adult community, you can enjoy wonderful amenities such as an outdoor pool, a fitness center, an aerobics and dance studio, pickleball courts, and an outdoor amphitheater. Del Webb at Mirehaven offers beautiful mountain views and is close to several outdoor attractions like Mirehaven Trailhead and Del Webb Park.

Albuquerque New Mexico Weather & Climate


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One of the best reasons to move to Albuquerque is the gorgeous weather. The Albuquerque climate is classified as a cold, semi-arid climate, which means that the weather in Albuquerque is characterized by warm to hot summers and cold, freezing winters. When living in Albuquerque, you will experience all four seasons. It does snow in Albuquerque, but it is not very common. The annual snowfall in Albuquerque New Mexico is only 11 inches.

Additional Albuquerque Climate Statistics:

  • Albuquerque annual rainfall: 9 inches
  • Average temperature in Albuquerque during the summer: 80ºF
  • Average temperature in Albuquerque during the winter: 39ºF
  • Most comfortable months to visit Albuquerque: late May to late September

Albuquerque Restaurants

There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Albuquerque for you to check out. The city is known for its delicious New Mexican cuisine, with menu staples such as beef and chicken enchiladas, burritos, huevos rancheros, and stuffed green chiles. In addition to the traditional New Mexican restaurants in Albuquerque NM, you’ll find several other types of cuisine, such as American, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian.

These are a few of the best restaurants in Albuquerque:

Things To Do In Albuquerque

When living in Albuquerque, you will never run out of fun things to do. Whether you are looking for fun indoor Albuquerque attractions to check out during the wintertime or exciting outdoor activities to do during the warmer months, there are plenty of options. These are just a few of the best things to do in Albuquerque New Mexico.

Top Albuquerque Attractions

  • ABQ BioPark Aquarium: This is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque with kids. Spend the afternoon admiring all of the different species of marine life in this large aquarium.
  • AbqTours: Visit AbqTours in Old Town to take a walking tour of Old Town and learn about the ghosts that supposedly haunt the streets.
  • Old Town Plaza: Old Town Plaza is one of the most famous Albuquerque New Mexico attractions. This site is the place where Spanish Governor Cuervo y Valdes officially founded Albuquerque in 1706. Today, it is a beautiful park where you can take a nice stroll or enjoy a picnic.
  • Sandia Peak Tramway: Enjoy this 2.7-mile aerial tram ride with Albuquerque and mountain views. You can take advantage of trails, skiing, and dining at the end of the ride.
  • The Downs Racetrack & Casino: Try your luck at The Downs Racetrack & Casino, which is a spot for live horse racing, slots, and table games.
  • Fly Albuquerque: Fly Albuquerque offers fun balloon rides that provide you with a unique view of the city.
  • ABQ BioPark Zoo: If you are searching for Albuquerque family activities, then head over to ABQ BioPark Zoo to spend a fun-filled day admiring the animals.


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Albuquerque Entertainment & Arts

Albuquerque Museums

Albuquerque Parks & Outdoors

  • Rio Grande Nature Center State Park: The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is a peaceful riverside forest with miles of trails and plenty of bird-watching opportunities.
  • USS Bullhead Memorial Park: When it comes to fun things to do in Albuquerque, USS Bullhead Memorial Park is at the top of the list. This green space features soccer fields, softball fields, and plenty of grassy areas.
  • Boca Negra Canyon: Head over to Boca Negra Canyon to enjoy gorgeous hikes through volcanic rocks.
  • Arroyo del Oso Park: This park features walking trails, a soccer field, a golf course, and gorgeous mountain views.

Shopping in Albuquerque

  • ABQ Uptown: This lively open-air shopping complex is easily one of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
  • Coronado Center: Coronado Center is home to dozens of department stores, name-brand retailers, and upscale restaurants.
  • Cottonwood Mall: Spend a rainy day inside Cottonwood Mall, a large, indoor shopping mall with hundreds of popular stores.

Map Of Albuquerque Things To Do

Check out this map of fun things to do in Albuquerque.


Are you curious about sports in Albuquerque? The Albuquerque Isotopes, a minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies play their home games at the Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park in the southeastern section of the city. The professional soccer team New Mexico United also plays their games on the field.

Additionally, the city has been home to several golf tournaments through The PGA of America as well as several roller hockey and roller derby games.

Albuquerque Crime Rate

Is Albuquerque a safe place to live? The Albuquerque crime rate is 6,356 crimes per 100,000 people, which is 75.6% higher than the state average and 170.9% higher than the national average. The violent crime rate in the city is 1,344 crimes per 100,000 people, which is 72.7% higher than the state average and 246.6% higher than the national average. The property crime rate is 5,012 crimes per 100,000 people, which is 76.4% higher than the state average and 155.9% higher than the national average.

Although crime in Albuquerque is high, the city is a safe place to live. There are several areas that see little to no crime at all, and it is natural for bigger cities to have higher crime rates. According to the Albuquerque Police, the violent crime rate in the city decreased 8% from 2021 to 2022. Also, according to The New York Times, homicides in the city decreased by 24% from 2022 to 2023.

Here’s a quick comparison of crime in Albuquerque to other major cities in the Southwestern U.S.

  • Santa Fe: 5,808 crimes per 100,000 people (9% lower than Albuquerque)
  • Phoenix: 3,788 crimes per 100,000 people (50.6% lower than Albuquerque)
  • Las Vegas: 2,738 crimes per 100,000 people (79.5% lower than Albuquerque)
  • Reno: 2,710 crimes per 100,000 people (80.4% lower than Albuquerque)
  • Salt Lake City: 8,275 crimes per 100,000 people (26.2% higher than Albuquerque)

After moving to Albuquerque, you will be served by the Albuquerque Police Department, which has 1,160 officers on the force. You can reach the APD by calling 505-768-2020 or visiting 400 Roma Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Economy & Jobs In Albuquerque

Are you thinking about searching for jobs in Albuquerque NM? There are plenty of Albuquerque jobs available, as the city is a hub for technology, fine arts, and media companies. The city is New Mexico’s leading economic center, and it accounts for half of the state’s economic activity. 

Albuquerque is the center of the New Mexico Technology Corridor, which features several companies such as Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. Netflix also maintains a major production hub at Albuquerque Studios in the city.

The top employers in Albuquerque include:

The Albuquerque unemployment rate is 3.5%, which is lower than the current national average of 3.7%. According to PayScale, the average salary in Albuquerque is $71,000, and the average hourly wage is $19.15. If you are on the hunt for jobs in Albuquerque New Mexico, then you can check out the city job board or search for Albuquerque NM jobs on Indeed.


When living in Albuquerque, you will have access to some of the best medical care in the country. The city is home to three healthcare systems, eight hospitals, and dozens of primary care facilities. Lovelace Health System consists of five hospitals, 51 healthcare clinics, and 3,900 total employees. This health system provides $75 million in unfunded care every year.

UNM Health System serves over 1 million patients every year and contains New Mexico’s only Level 1 trauma center. The system is ranked in the top 5% for clinical care in the country and provides over $135 million of uncompensated care each year.

Presbyterian Hospital is the largest hospital in New Mexico, containing 453 beds. It is the only hospital in New Mexico to receive America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award three years running. Within this network, you will find over 9,000 providers.

Albuquerque Schools

Students in the city are mostly served by the Albuquerque Public Schools district. This Albuquerque school district contains 143 schools and serves over 70,000 students, making it one of the largest school districts in the country. APS has 13 Albuquerque high schools, 27 middle schools, and 88 elementary schools in Albuquerque.

There are also several private schools in Albuquerque. Some of the most popular options include Albuquerque Academy, Christian Heritage Academy, and St. Pius X High School. The latter institution is one of the best high schools in Albuquerque and has a college attendance rate of 96% and a teacher-student ratio of 10 to 1.

The city is also home to several higher education options, such as Central New Mexico Community College and the University of New Mexico. UNM is the largest university in the state and contains a School of Medicine that was ranked in the top 50 primary care-oriented medical schools in the country.


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Residents living in Albuquerque New Mexico can enjoy full access to the Albuquerque Public Library system.

Albuquerque Utilities & DMV Change Of Address

Before moving to Albuquerque, you may need to take care of a few practical tasks. These are the providers you’ll need to know before moving to the area.

Additionally, you will need to change your address with the DMV or get a New Mexico driver’s license if you are moving from out of state. The MVD requires a licensed driver or vehicle owner who moves from a new address to notify the Motor Vehicle Division within 10 days of the new address. You can submit The Change of Address Form to your local driver license office or change your address online.

Is moving to Albuquerque in your future? Living in Albuquerque offers many incredible benefits, and now is a better time than ever to enjoy this gorgeous city. Once you’ve found your dream home in the city, then get in touch with Pro-Move Logistics. Our Albuquerque movers have been in business for over 15 years and have a moving claims rate of less than 1%. Get in touch with our team today by calling 505-471-3434.


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